A good synopsis of the development and potential of this service and the others mentioned above can be found in the MRC led and severally funded report UK e-health records research capacity and capability [beware, the PDF is slow to load using Chrome in our experience] ("the MRC led a mapping exercise in 2010 on behalf of several major UK research funders and the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) to review the UK capability in e-health records research and determine the requirements to support a sustainable e-health informatics research base in the future").
Link here to the Scottish Health Informatics Programme home page. In their own words there is a certain amount of adjectival exuberance (reproduced below) but we have a more sober but no less positive analysis to come tomorrow as out internet connection allows!
"SHIP is an ambitious, Scotland-wide research platform for the collation, management, dissemination and analysis of Electronic Patient Records (EPRs). The programme brings together the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews with the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS Scotland.